11B.3 The development of a CF-compliant netCDF format for radial RADAR and LIDAR data

Thursday, 27 January 2011: 9:00 AM
607 (Washington State Convention Center)
Michael Dixon, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and W. C. Lee, R. A. Rilling, C. D. Burghart, J. H. VanAndel, and D. Flanigan
Manuscript (339.1 kB)

During the 1980s, NCAR made use of the Universal Format (UF) for radial (polar-coordinate) RADAR data. At that time most RADAR data processing was done using FORTRAN. In the 1990s, in order to properly support the Eldora airborne RADAR, the DOppler RAdar Data Exchange (DORADE) format was developed and has been in extensive use since. Working with DORADE data was aided by the development of a C library for reading and writing the data. However, many researchers are not comfortable with C, which has made handling DORADE data somewhat difficult. At the time DORADE was developed, netCDF was not considered a viable alternative. Since then, however, that has changed. NetCDF version 4, built on HDF5, now supports compression. Furthermore, in the modeling world the development of the Climate and Forecasting (CF) convention has improved data sharing in the meteorological community. The time therefore appears appropriate for the development of a new community data format for radial data, built using netCDF and extending the CF convention. The new so-called CfRadial format was developed at NCAR and UNIDATA during 2010. A proposal has been submitted to the CF community for an extension of CF to include CfRadial. (See http://www.ral.ucar.edu/projects/titan/docs/radial_formats/cfradial.html). The details of this format, as well as the response from the meteorological community, will be presented.

Supplementary URL: http://www.ral.ucar.edu/projects/titan/docs/radial_formats/#cfradial

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